Council announces election of board officers to serve until May 2025

The Council held its annual board meeting in Valdez, Alaska, on May 2-3, 2024. Among other business, the Board convened to elect officers who will serve from May 2024 to May 2025.

The elected executive committee is comprised of:

  • President: Robert Archibald, representing the City of Homer
  • Vice President: Amanda Bauer, representing the City of Valdez
  • Treasurer: Mako Haggerty, representing the Kenai Peninsula Borough
  • Secretary: Bob Shavelson, representing the Oil Spill Region Environmental Coalition
  • Three Members-at-Large:
    • Ben Cutrell, representing Chugach Alaska Corporation
    • David Janka, representing City of Cordova
    • Angela Totemoff, representing the Community of Tatitlek

“Of all the advances made in the safe transportation of oil since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, perhaps the most innovative and significant was the establishment of permanent, industry-funded citizen oversight for both Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound,” Robert Archibald said. “Everyone involved should be proud of what has been accomplished since the spill, but we also should never become so satisfied with the current services or processes that we become complacent. Constant vigilance is needed to prevent a return to the pre-1989 complacency that allowed this disaster to happen. I am honored to lead our board for another year as we work toward our shared goal of protecting our communities, economies and environment.”

The Council is grateful to have the support of its many volunteers from all over the Exxon Valdez oil spill region. The new executive committee is an excellent representation of the Council.

Meet the Executive Committee

Media release: PWSRCAC May 2024 Board officers press release 

Community Corner: Alaskans still learning from the Exxon Valdez spill

Maia Draper-Reich

By Maia Draper-Reich, Outreach Coordinator

In February, the Council participated in the Alaska Forum on the Environment, a week-long conference that draws attendance by professionals, researchers, students, and others working in environmental fields related to Alaska. Community members and Alaska Native elders are also invited to speak on environmental issues and concerns. It was clear from sharing and connecting with the Forum’s attendees that the Exxon Valdez oil spill remains important for many Alaskans.

The Council hosts an exhibitor booth where we connect with participants about our mission and work. This year, the Council shared a booth with Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, or CIRCAC, which allowed us to engage with attendees about the two sister organizations, our shared history, and our specific regions of oversight.

As the Outreach Coordinator, I am a member of the Forum’s planning committee and help organize the oil spill track of sessions each year. This year, I presented on behalf of the Council on a session titled “35 Years Since the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Community Projects and Engagement.” The other presenters for the session were Shiway Wang, executive director of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, and Shaylon Cochran, director of communications and public outreach at CIRCAC.

Wang spoke about impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Trustee Council’s restoration projects and science. Then, Cochran and I presented jointly sharing about our respective regions and origins, including the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the associated responsibilities. Cochran and I each took a turn highlighting each Council’s past and current work. It was an excellent venue to emphasize the lessons learned from the spill about the importance of local community engagement. This was exemplified by the accomplishments by all three organizations. The session was well attended with approximately 70 people in the room and 60 online participants. Questions from the audience centered on continued impacts from the spill on wildlife and prevention gaps.

I was encouraged by my conversations at the booth and after our session about the importance of citizen oversight and the value of the work we continue to accomplish in the region.

New member entity joins Council

Area recreation enthusiasts now have permanent, dedicated representation on the Council’s Board of Directors.

Jim Herbert

The newly-formed Oil Spill Region Recreational Coalition was added to the Council’s roster of member entities at the January meeting. Jim Herbert was chosen by the coalition as its representative.

Herbert had been serving as a temporary recreation representative for the past year while the while the council solicited interest from recreational organizations to potentially fill the seat. Herbert previously represented the City of Seward from 2013 to 2015. He is also the current chair of the Council’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response Committee.

The new coalition’s mission is to assist the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council in promoting environmentally safe operation of the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal and associated tankers in a manner that will protect the natural recreational resources of Prince William Sound and other areas affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The three founding members of the coalition are the Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation, the Valdez Adventure Alliance, and the Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park. The group welcomes other organizations who promote recreation in the Exxon Valdez oil spill region.

The Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping Prince William Sound healthy, clean and wild, for all to enjoy. Visit them online at:

The Valdez Adventure Alliance seeks to improve quality of life through equitable access to outdoor recreation resources, education, and events. Visit them online at:

The Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park promotes the enhancement, preservation and protection of the natural recreational, scientific and historical resources of Kachemak Bay State Park. Visit them online at:

This article has been edited to correct the mission of the coalition. 

From Alyeska: New oil spill response barge demonstrates ongoing investment in protecting Prince William Sound

Submitted by Alyeska Corporate Communications

This photo shows a new oil spill response barge with an escort tug alongside the barge.
Alyeska’s newest oil spill response barge, the OSRB-5, alongside the Elrington, one of the escort tugs in SERVS’ fleet. Photo courtesy of Alyeska.

The shine has yet to dim on Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s newest on-water powerhouse; the OSRB-5 joined the Ship Escort Response Vessel System, or SERVS, fleet in 2023 and is still impressing its crews with its modern and state-of-the-art technologies.

“This barge is another exciting advancement in an already world-class fleet,” said Larry Miles, SERVS marine superintendent. “She’s an investment – though hopefully never needed – in keeping Prince William Sound safe for years to come.”

SERVS was created after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, to prevent oil spills and provide oil spill preparedness and response capabilities for Alyeska and the marine shipping companies who operate the tankers that call at the Valdez Marine Terminal. Working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, SERVS personnel monitor vessel traffic so tankers can safely travel through the Sound and coordinate a fleet of purpose-built vessels and response equipment.

The OSRB-5 replaced the Mineral Creek, a 40-year-old lightering barge, usually stationed at Naked Island in mid-Prince William Sound.

The OSRB-5 was built by Gunderson shipyard in Portland, Oregon. At 400 feet long and 96 feet wide, it shares much of the same design and equipment as other barges, with key differences that make it unique and amplify its versatility.

As a lightering barge, its primary purpose is to remove cargo from a tanker in peril; it has large fenders to protect both vessels when alongside each other. The OSRB-5 also has state-of-the-art Crucial disk skimming capabilities for open water operations. It offloads mini barges used by fishing vessels to collect oil near shorelines.

After learning from the other OSRBs for the last five years, SERVS crews requested a specific paint along the deck where boom is managed. The first OSRBs had non-skid paint that impacted the boom.
The OSRB-5 features an extra generator and hydraulic power unit to run the mini barge offloading station and the deluge pump for snow removal was upgraded to a deep well pump.

Alyeska’s ongoing commitments to Prince William Sound meet the requirements and expectations of its contingency plan, to be ready and prepared to protect the Sound, its waters, and shorelines from impacts of incidents related to oil transport. It’s the singular focus of the crew at SERVS – a tight-knit team personally invested in the health and vibrancy of the region.

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